Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mercer Street Open House

I went to an open house set up by SDOT and the city of Seattle at the Lopez room at Seattle Center today. They were outlining what will happen to Mercer Street west of Dexter after the new changes take place in South Lake Union. I took the kids. They were the only ones and not at all welcome. I say: this is real representative government and if you want 20-30 somethings to take part it political discourse, you have to allow toddlers.

So here is what I found: (the comment I just placed at Seattle Bike Blog as well)

Roy doesn’t go through as a bicycle corridor. You have to take Roy to Dexter. Left and then right onto Mercer on the planned wide sidewalk (16ft, currently 5), then right on Taylor and left up Roy.

Also, Gates Foundation is pushing for the curved alignment that would make a steeper grade in and out of the Mercer underpass. There was some talk by engineers present about making the sidewalk less steep and have it not completely follow the contour of the street. I hope that is the case.

At this point, there are no bike lanes planned for Mercer Street between Dexter and 1st Ave N. The assumption is that cyclists will flip to Roy and then come back onto to Mercer at Queen Anne Ave where the bike lane will continue to 3rd Ave W. There will be no bike lane between 3rd Ave west and Elliott Ave. Studies will be performed to determine if another uphill lane can be installed on Mercer Place but one source at the meeting told me that cutting back Kinnear Park to make way for a transportation enlargement is a non-starter with the city of Seattle.

I can’t really determine at this point what the city has planned to fix the gridlock that will be placed at the corner of new Aurora and Harrison, where the new off ramp will be. I was also met with smirks when I asked where the toll booths are going to be placed. The best reply, besides “that’s not my area…….” was that they will take pictures of your license plate and bill you every 6 times you go through the tunnel. Nice idea but don’t people get out of red light camera tickets by just stating that they were not driving their car? Will that loophole be changed or will the city just collect tolls from the honest people? What about out of staters?

So my reply to the license plate photography was “that will go over great with the tea partiers” which brought stunned, deer in the headlights, looks from people.

Should be interesting, but it will look so much better and much less complicated if Aurora just has a series of stoplights starting at Roy.

1 comment:

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